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Il Bacio Della Medusa

Rock Progressivo Italiano

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Il Bacio Della Medusa Discesa Agl'Inferi d'un Giovane Amante album cover
4.22 | 362 ratings | 26 reviews | 43% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2008

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Preludio: Il Trapasso (3:43)
2. Confessione D'un Amante (3:05)
3. La Bestia Ed Il Delirio (5:09)
4. Recitativo: è Nel Buio Che Risplendono Le Stelle (3:58)
5. Ricordi Del Supplizio (6:27)
6. Nostalgia, Pentimento E Rabbia (6:59)
7. Sudorazione A Freddo Sotto Il Chiaro Di Luna (6:03)
8. Melencolia (5:39)
9. E Fu Allora Che Dalle Fiamme Mi Sorprese Una Calda Brezza Celeste (3:22)
10. Nosce Te Ipsum: La Bestia Ringhia In Noi (5:27)
11. Corale Per Messa Da Requiem (3:54)
12. Epilogo: Conclusione Della Discesa Agl'inferi D'un Giovane Amante (1:48)

Total Time 55:34

Line-up / Musicians

- Simone Cecchini / lead & backing vocals, classical, 6- & 12-string acoustic guitars, tenor saxophone
- Simone Brozzetti / electric guitar
- Eva Morelli / flute, wind
- Daniele Rinchi / violin, viola
- Federico Caprai / bass
- Diego Petrini / drums, organ, keyboards, piano, vibraphone, percussion

Releases information

LP Black Widow - BWR 102 (2008, Italy)

CD Black Widow - BWRCD 102-2 (2008, Italy)
CD AMS - AMS 252 CD (2015, Italy)

Thanks to andrea for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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IL BACIO DELLA MEDUSA Discesa Agl'Inferi d'un Giovane Amante ratings distribution

(362 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(43%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(28%)
Good, but non-essential (17%)
Collectors/fans only (8%)
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)

IL BACIO DELLA MEDUSA Discesa Agl'Inferi d'un Giovane Amante reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Finnforest
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars A musical crime of passion in progress.straight for the jugular

Best new thing I've heard in ages. Every once in a while, quite unexpectedly, a band shows up at my door and just takes my breath away. A band that I really feel honored to not only experience but to share with others. Il Bacio della Medusa (Medusa's Kiss) is such a band. This is their 2nd album in what I hope is a long career. BdM combine progressive rock with hard rock, blues rock, moonlight folk, and stunning contributions of flute, violin, piano and saxophone. You really get the whole package here: amazing composition, passionate performance, great melody, and tons of enthusiasm and spark. This is a band that pays homage to the greatest '70s Italian bands, English bands like Purple and Tull, and even flash the bluesy burn of Wicked Minds or Jack White. They are every bit as fresh and exciting as Finisterre but with more edge. But as powerful as their rock side is, equally dynamic is their softer side, perfectly blended with extended passages of flute and violin. Before I get further into their album just a brief bit of history for you.

BdM (from the Perugia area) began in 2002 when vocalist Simone Cecchini, drummer Diego Petrini, and bassist Federico Caprai launched the project. Later they would add Simone Brozzetti on guitar, Eva Morelli on flute, and Daniele Rinchi on violin. The six piece line-up labored intensely on this album and you can literally feel the great efforts put into each track to make them special. Each song is so well rounded musically and artistically, like great art the pieces take the time they need to develop but without ever getting boring. Drummer and multi-instrumentalist Diego Petrini composed the majority of this fine music. The band are big fans of art in general as noted by Simone: "we are all student of Art and we like very much Renassaince and Baroque one of our favourite painter is surely Caravaggio, and not only by artistic point of view but also for his crazy life, a life spent to run by something, a short life of sure but he left of sure an incredible sign of his presence with his painting." [Simone Cecchini] The band cultivates sort of a dark image in their album art and dress which gives them a somewhat menacing public image when in fact it is but one side of their music. Believe me, there is more than enough beauty here to balance the dark edge.this music will lift you, not depress you.

Most tracks in this conceptual album flow together without breaks, adding to the sense that it unfolds like a grand play. They have a bit of that dramatic theatrical flair that recalls Ange and Queen at their finest. According to Cecchini the album is "a sort of Dante's "Paolo e Francesca" but made in our way, it's the story of a lover who is on hell with his women, flash backs feelings and many sensations by the point of view of the lover." The first two tracks provide the album's introduction, slowly and softly bringing the listener in with gentle piano, violin, and flute. We are introduced to Cecchini's outstanding vocal talent which is rich and provocative and commanding, but unlike the way some bands get carried away with constant vocals, he knows when to lay back and let the music have the stage. He does often, there are long instrumental passages. As I mentioned they masterfully build up to the rock stuff rather than just diving into it. Throughout the album they transition so well from bombast to gentleness, running the emotional gamut. When the full band does begin to come alive during "Confessione d'un Amante" they feature feisty keyboard runs, raunchy electric leads, and a powerful rhythm section. They'll rock for a bit and then out of nowhere drops these change-ups, like one interlude with devilish gypsy-folk sound, with fiddle and handclaps over acoustic guitar. You will hear a spooky dirge with storms, spoken narrations, strange voices, and vultures overhead. The middle section of the album is the meat of the heavy and bluesy rock. Arrangements are impeccable as the keys and guitar are so effortlessly woven to the sax and flute parts. They make the traditional rock so much zestier and it's all laid over Petrini's drumming which would make Bonham proud. "Melencolia" is my favourite track, a gorgeous amalgam of Camel/Floyd/PFM with glowing acoustic guitars, beautiful whispered harmonies, warm bass lines and soft percussions. Heaven. After this will come extended saxophone and electric guitar solos of great feeling and drama. The final tracks close this show with great pizazz. There is a section of spacey keys and affects laden guitar followed by a long melancholy piano/violin section with female chorus vocals that are beautiful. And finally they close with mournful piano and violin.

If you love hard '70s rock and/or classic period Italian progressive this album is an absolute sure thing. Fantastic. My only worry is that I can't imagine how they're going to top themselves next time. This is music without cynicism-birthed purely with sincere motivations of pleasing the music lover. When I recognize that certain authenticity in a band it always makes it special to me. And now I undertake the mission of spreading the word about this deserving band. I'll be picking up more copies of this CD as gifts for rock loving friends. 10/10

Bravo to these lads and fair lady.

Review by andrea
5 stars "Discesa agl'inferi d'un giovane amante" is the second album of the Italian band Il Bacio Della Medusa. The line up features a new member, Daniele Rinchi (viola, violin) who joined the band in 2005 giving his contribute to the evolution of the band's sound and song-writing, now more balanced, rich and "classical" oriented. Then, the deal with the independent label Black Widow Records gave the band the chance to work in tranquillity and the result is an excellent mix of classical influences and rock that perfectly fits the dark and poetical lyrics. Beautiful also the art cover painted by one of the members of the band, Federico Caprai, that tries to describe with images and colours the mood of the album...

"Discesa agl'inferi d'un giovane amante" is a concept album and the music flows away in a long suite for almost an hour without breaks with sudden changes of rhythm and atmosphere... It was inspired by the story of Paolo and Francesca, two clandestine lovers that were caught red handed and stabbed to death by Francesca's husband (and Paolo's brother) Gianciotto. The two characters were portrayed by the poet Dante Alighieri in his "Divina Commedia" but Dante's poetry is only the starting point from where the band develop a very original musical and poetical journey...

The opener "Preludio: il trapasso" describes in music and words the moment when Paolo's soul leaves his mortal body and begins the journey towards hell... "Look at my body / It lies bloodless on the ground... Heavy boats sail towards hell / The air is burning upon me / In the silence I'm looking for you...". Delicate and expressive piano, flute and violin passages are the ideal background for Simone Cecchini's passionate vocals evoking a love stronger than death and that sound even more dramatic in the following "Confessione d'un amante" (Confession of a lover)... "Into the crowd we're looking for each other / But the dark is between us.... Francesca I love you for this eternity / At length the light will come even into this dark caves / Let the trumpets blare / The beast is snarling upon us"...

The instrumental "La bestia ed il delirio" (The beast and the delirium) marks a change of mood, the rhythm goes up and there is room for fiery organ solos, heavy guitar riffs and "infernal dances" led by violin and flute... Then a marching beat introduces "Recitativo: è nel buio che risplendono le stelle" where the voice of Simone Cecchini describes an infernal landscape with bent trees dripping blood... "The scream of the man by now lies defeated on the ground / All I can do is gather my shadow / Like an old worn and stinking coat fallen down behind me... Oblivion is the cancer of knowledge... It's in the dark that lies the magic of every light / It's in the dark that the stars shine..."

In "Ricordi del supplizio" (Souvenirs of the torment) a flute "à la Jethro Tull" and a mellow rock sound underline the expression of rage against the murderer... "I remember the violence of my death / His breath upon my neck...". Then "Nostalgia, pentimento e rabbia" (Nostalgia, repentance and rage) lead to the instrumental "Sudorazione a freddo sotto il chiaro di luna", where "the blood runs cold under the moonlight"...

In Melencolia (Melancholy) a soaring feeling of nostalgia comes on the wings of beautiful notes of flute veined of exotic echoes... "Once I caught a prohibited apple / A bit couldn't stop my hunger / I drank from a springing wine source / A sip couldn't stop my thirst... Why on earth when I thought to love / A day like another the blade of a dagger / Led me back into the ground..."

The last tracks are almost completely instrumental and, in a crescendo of emotions, lead to an amazing and dramatic finale for this journey towards hell of a young lover, carried away by the hot wind that benumbs his limbs... "E fu allora che dalle fiamme mi sorprese una calda brezza celeste", "Nosce te ipsum: la bestia ringhia in noi", "Corale per messa da requiem" and "Epilogo: conclusione della discesa agl'inferi d'un giovane amante" are the perfect conclusion for a flawless album.

Essential for every Italianprog lover!

Review by Andrea Cortese
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars What an wonderful surprise! Il Bacio della Medusa' second record has been just issued and it's already a classic, a superb example of melodic heavy prog with lots of interesting (and unespected) variations.

As other fellow reviewers have pointed out, the concept is about the tale of lovers Paolo e Francesca (from Dante Alighieri's Commedia). Naturally it has been personally developed as a musical journey through the so called other side. There's a wise use and balance of infernal scenes, sad feelings, overwelming sorrows and infinite (sincere) love in the lyrics' themes. The imaginary used is not too original, though, 'cause it's on a similar vein to what La Maschera di Cera have already done with LuxAde (2006) which is, basically, the descent of Orpheus to Hades searching for his dead wife Euridix.

Musically it's another story. Il Bacio della Medusa deliver elaborate arrengements since the first part of the record. The first two sections, in particular, are lead by evocative violin and classic piano with exciting melody and vocals by Simone Cecchini. There's an uplifting crescendo the introduces the listener deep in the infernal themes untile time comes to show Lucifer's land in all its unespected colours and whipping anguish. From La Bestia e il Delirio flute and hammond organ starts suddenly to duet with immense pleasure for the listener (there's no brake between the tracks). So drums (slightly and unfortunately subdued) draw pleasant changing moods helped in the middle part by serious and hard electric guitar soloing. The second half of the tune is a sort of folk rythm thanks to violin, acoustic guitar, flute (which is used massively during the whole running time of the album) and clapping. My favourite track for sure. A gem. Excellent also the saxophone playing and the mix between heavy, classical, folk and bluesy rock souls.

Hammond is the favourite key of the band but moog also can ben found in some short episode. Passion is really the unknown ingredient of the band. You can only rest breathless after such a pure tour de force.

Review by erik neuteboom
4 stars

Four years after their promising eponymous debut album the six piece band Il Bacio Della Medusa has released their second album entitled Discesa Agl'Inferi D'Un Giovane Amante in 2008. Meanwhile the saxophone player has been replaced by a violinist and the drummer/keyboardplayer has extended his array of keyboards, especially the distinctive Hammond organ is omnipresent on this new album.

The 12 tracks on this concept story album sound more elaborate and refined than on the promising debut CD, what a tension, dynamics, captivating breaks and changing climates, strong solos on guitar and keyboards and what an inspired Italian vocals! A very strong element in Il Bacio Della Medusa her sound is the 'Holy Trinity' of fiery guitar, swirling flute and powerful Hammond organ, especially in Ricordi Del Supplizio it sounds like a hot Heavy Prog jam session featuring Jon Lord and Ian Anderson, splendid! Another strong point is the tension between the mellow parts with flute, acoustic guitar, Grand piano, violin and warm vocals and the heavy interludes with bombastic keyboards, harder-edged guitar and raw vocals like in Nostalgia, Pentimento E Rabbia and Nosce Te Ipsum: La Bestia Ringhia In Noi. From a musical point of view the music delivers lots of variety, from Grand piano with violin and pleasant vocals in Confessione D'Un Amante and a duet with saxophone and fiery guitar in E Fu Allora Che Dalle Fiamme Mi Sorprese Una Calda Brezza Celeste to wonderful interplay between Grand piano, violin and choir in very the moving Corale Per Messa Da Requiem (I had almost tears in my eyes, what an emotion this song evokes) and warm work on flute and Grand piano in the final track Epilogo.

To me this album sounds as one of the best Italian progrock CD's I have heard in the last ten years and I can tell you, I have heard tons so highly recommended!

Review by Mellotron Storm
5 stars First I have to thank Finnforest for bringing this band and in particular this album to my attention. The first time I listened to it I stopped what I was doing and just gave it my full attention, almost surprised to hear the first two songs sounding very much like vintage seventies Italian music. The singing is in Italian and quite powerful and emotional, while the music is led by flute, violin and piano. The result is beautiful and inspiring. By the third track things start to change as we get some organ runs and an ANGLAGARD vibe. The guitar after 1 1/2 minutes lights it up as organ continues. A calm follows as we get some clapping, flute and violin. The powerful organ and guitar return before this one is over. The fourth track opens with marching style drums as spoken words come in around 1 1/2 minutes. The vocals start to yell a minute later as flute becomes more prominant. It ends with sax.

The fifth track is a return to some great guitar and organ as flute plays over top. Love the organ a minute in followed by passionate vocals. Ripping guitar 3 minutes in. Nice. The sixth track builds as flute, acoustic guitar, vibes, electric guitar, organ and vocals are all added. It sounds incredible 2 1/2 minutes in. The seventh track features some amazing guitar and organ. It calms right down after a minute. Flute comes in and then 3 minutes in we get some tasteful guitar. Great sound.Samples 4 minutes in as the music has stopped. It kicks back in quickly. Love the drumming that follows. The eighth track is a beautiful song with acoustic guitar, drums, flute and reserved vocals. The ninth track features some excellent relaxed guitar melodies in the intro before sax joins in. The guitar 1 1/2 minutes in is more aggressive. Amazing ! Sax returns 2 1/2 minutes in. The tenth track opens with vocals. Violin, drums and organ take over quickly. It picks up a minute in with some accordion. Organ then leads the way. Great sound after 4 minutes. The eleventh track has a piano / violin intro. This is mournful as vocal melodies arrive. Female vocal melodies 2 1/2 minutes in. The sound gets fuller 3 minutes in. The final track continues with the same melody but the flute leads the way instead of the violin, even though the violin continues.

If your a fan of that classic Italian sound but also like a little heaviness once and a while then this is a must have.

Review by Nightfly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars One of the more pleasant surprises of 2008 so far is this new album from Il Bacio Della Medusa. Although this Italian band are relatively new on the scene; their first album was released in 2004, they sound very much a product of the seventies, both in their use of instrumentation and the very natural sounding production. This six piece band as well as the usual array of instruments we expect most Progressive rock bands to have augment their sound with flute, violin and sax, the flute being particularly prominent.

Sung in their native Italian of which I don't speak a word, it's still apparent that Discesa agl'inferi d'un giovane amante is a concept album, the tracks flowing seamlessly into one another. The vocals are sung very passionately and musically it's a very diverse sound. Classical influences collide with more bombastic heavy passages and more restrained acoustic moments. There's much influence here from seventies symphonic prog, not least their fellow countrymen Premiata Forneria Marconi and I'm sure they've also got a few Jethro Tull cd's in their collection.

As the album is best digested as a whole and the seamless nature of the piece it's difficult to pick out favourite tracks, but I found myself particularly enjoying the dynamic instrumental interplay which occurs at regular intervals throughout, each musician given the opportunity to make their mark. I especially enjoyed some of the blistering guitar work by Simone Brozzetti and the Keyboard sound - very seventies with strong use of organ and some excellent piano. Daniele Rinchi supplies some beautiful and moving Violin playing too.

I'm certainly glad to have discovered this excellent Italian band and the album is currently receiving well deserved heavy playing on my cd player and almost certain to make my top ten of 2008. One to lay back, turn out the lights and get lost in.

Review by tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Oh oh, got to be very careful with this review, as it has garnered rave reviews from all the PA glitterati and I have no stomach to be viewed as a party pooper! I have not heard the previous album, so this is a totally virginal adventure, judging solely on what my trusted and storied prog sensors will pick up going through this sophomore recording by "the kiss of the medusa". My knees are trembling in anticipation, my ears firmly cleaned with cotton swabs and properly oiled and lubricated, phone is on mute, TV as well. From the opening kick-off and aptly named "Preludio", the much discussed prime BDM characteristics come to the fore: the radiant almost operatic vocals courtesy of the genial Simone Cecchini are stupendous (what a voice,!), the keyboard work from drummer Diego Petrini is heart stoppingly intricate and ornate, first on piano and then on the effusive Hammond organ, some spectacular violin forays, wailing voices in full support. I am overwhelmed by the sheer scope of the arrangements, seasoned to titillate and inspire, as evidenced by the magnificence of the poignant "Confessione d'un Amante", that suddenly dives into the fiery, searing "La Bestia ed il Delirio", again perfectly describes as a deliriously beastly workout, Hammond whirring unabated, giving guitarist Simone Brozetti the opportunity to rip through a few frets and blaze incandescent. Out of the blue in typical Italian prog style, the piece evolves into an almost folkish, violin-led mid-section and mercifully capped off with a bluesy organ solo. And they even find time for a laugh, wow! Disturbingly tasty, BDM segue into the next track dreamily, ready to explode at anytime (and it will soon), gently stretching out the theme until the narrative kicks in (the Italians proggers seem to love this, tossing in some spoken words into their music!). The raging "Riccordi del Supplizio" dives into the dark core of the album, buzzing guitars fighting off the rippling flutes, the beat heavy with Tullian exuberance and Cecchini's powerful voice urging the beast along. A series of succulent "classic" guitar solos bridge nicely and make this a highlight reel track that is sure to please, a true ISP nugget that will set well with fans of all colors and stripes. The longest piece here at nearly 7 minutes , "Nostalgia Pentimento e Rabbia" offers up a pastoral contrast to the previous eruptions, with more effusive flute and raw wah guitars slowly churning into a bubbling frenzy, proving without a doubt that these musicians have it together. Cecchini sings again with utter conviction and frenzied control, drawing easy comparisons with Ange's revered Christian Décamps. The flow into the next track is seamless, giving the instrumentalists more than enough stage to let their chops fly while keeping the theme tight to the vest, as organ, violin and guitar provide all the ingredients with outright bluesy aplomb. The famed contrasting pastoral and fiery recipe is at its acme here, clearly showcasing this band's ability to turn anything into something spectacular, throwing in gloomy effects at unexpected moments and keeping the listener on permanent edge. The supremely intoxicating "Melencholia" fulfills the need to chill, with spectral flute gently parading through the mist, soft vocals pleading for some understanding, dripping in angst laden beauty (I am such a sucker for heart stopping melodies, I tell you!). This piece remains imprinted as a scintillating jewel, full of impressive feeling and atmosphere, especially vocally. The next track reinitiates the mood by judiciously exhibiting an unexpected sax solo (a woefully underused instrument in prog, unfortunately), giving the guitarist another opportunity to show off some bluesy, bruised licks that exude pain and power , dueling with the serene optimism of the saxophone, another kick ass piece on this marvelous disc. "Nosce Te Ipsum" proposes a violin directed instrumental that shoots for the stars, the organ also returning to the front stage, the entire band cooking up a storm, even daring a few Crimsonesque oblique stunts, with a dash of Canterbury tossed into the mix (You wear them well). The "Corale" is a piano/violin showcase that evokes strong classical leanings that blend so well with the otherwise heavily blues influences. The final "Epilogo" puts this masterpiece to rest and I am converted! No wonder finnforest was so gaga for this recording , I suspect he is still under the spell of "the kiss of the medusa". What a revelation and totally deserving of its glorified reputation! 5 sultry smooches.
Review by poslednijat_colobar
3 stars When I have listened to this album I felt I knew it, because it observes the way of making music exactly as some of the old famous italian progressive rock band. I think there are very much positive reviews about this album, because of that. It's time now for a little negative review, again, because of that reason. I believe some italian albums cannot fulfil there real potential (or just cannot attract my attention), because of some typical italian vehicles of expression. Regretfully, we can feel them here again. For example, this hard emotional weight all around the album, full of sounds and melancholy in psychedelic manner. I don't want to say I don't like this manner of making music, but here (I mean not only in Discesa agl'inferi d'un giovane amante, but in some other italian albums, too) it's totally exceeded and combined strangely with hard rock. The other moment is this circus atmosphere. This highy emotional moments full of stoic strain and all these nervous parts are the other flaws here. All these flaws are obstacles for realization of the full potential of the album. Highly recommended for fans of Dedicato a Frazz by Semiramis, Zarathustra by Museo Rosenbach and other italian albums like them. For me - very good non-essential album (3.5 stars) like the above albums.
Review by ZowieZiggy
5 stars The debut album from this Italian band was rather on the heavy prog side. And to my surprise, this follow-up is quite different and much more diverse hence more interesting.

Passionate vocals, crafted piano play, subtle violin, sweet flute. We're almost in for a vintage Italian symphonic prog album! This is especially true during the first two moving and great songs from this work. But the whole will convey this great impression.

The story is based on some of Dante's work, and I quite prefer the interpretation made here than during the TD trilogy to be honest; but that's another topic. Some more classical (or medieval) soundscapes are also available ("La Bestia Ed Il Delirio") and only confirm the new musical approach of the band.

Some fine Hammond organ are also illuminating this album (same track, second part); just as a confirmation of BDM's first love: heavy prog music. Which is pretty much fine with me.

Some darker and heavier atmosphere are available as well, which adds another pleasant layer to this "Discesa?". Don't forget that the album was issued by the "Black Widow" label. The intriguing "Recitativo" just confirms this feeling.

For those of you who were expecting a heavier approach: don't worry. You'll still get these! The great "Ricordi Del Supplisio" should fill all your needs. Great fluting (remember than Ian Anderson once said: "Flute is a heavy, metal instrument"). This is a devastating track: full of wild keyboards à la "Atomic Rooster" and superb drumming experience. This song is also pretty close to the very good "Black Widow" band. The same heavy tendency (but with less flavour) can be noticed during "Nostalgia?".

When I listen to this album, I am automatically brought back in the seventies (my teenage days). Brilliant instrumentation, beautiful melodies, harder passages combined to some spacey ones, skilled musicians ("Sudorazione"). I quite like this actually. But who wouldn't???

Almost Trespass-esque and exquisite feel is filling your body while listening to the wonderful "Melencolia". A pure jewel, crystal beauty from start to finish. Shivers all around the body. A highlight of Italian symph. A highlight of prog music. Such a piece brings me in heaven (spiritually I mean?). It is a fantastic moment of indeed the greatest melancholy. But I'm a melancholy man, that's what I am...

The whole band is at l'unisson for the remarkable "E Fu Allora?". A short instrumental which shows all the talent of the band. Simply excellent.

It is amazing to see the evolution of the band. This album is really flirting with the nirvana, and almost reaches perfection. Just listen to the sublime "Nosce Te Ipsum". Another gorgeous instrumental: sometimes scary (some Crimson feel), sometimes melodic yet complex and dark.

By now, I have totally succumbed. Can't help. These violin sounds, the dramatic rendition, the passionate play are overwhelming to the bones. Have a listen to this masterpiece. One of the best album in 2008, for sure.

Five stars. Superb.

Review by Marty McFly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Isn't this music just beautiful ? Symphonic RPI (RaPanuI) arrangements, floating through the world of flutes heaven and moderately wild electric guitar, which won't let anything here to harm you. I read Dante and this doesn't remind me much of horrors which I saw in the book. However, Dante's Inferno/Purgatorio (this 4CD collection) doesn't remind me it too, so it's not problem. The question isn't whether this is 1, or 2 star album. Because it's far from being one. The question is that 4-5, what's more appropriate. I'm almost convinced (because it took some time to write this review, something like few months) and I have to say that I really don't know. Honestly, I'm confused.

4(+) and we'll see later on. It's exceptional album where you can take a role of expectional listener. You want beauty and you'll get it. Wild, (almost) untamed beauty it is indeed, but still it's rollercoaster ride. You're safe, nobody's gonna harm you. Captain Beefheart won't appear here with purpose to cut your throat.

And everyone lived happily ever-after, this was a story of masterpiece album with 4-star rating.

Review by seventhsojourn
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Discesa Agl'inferi D'un Giovane Amante is the title of the second album by Italian band Il Bacio Della Medusa. Although it was released as recently as 2008 it is highly typical of the classic RPI of the 1970s. It has been described as a concept album, the subject of which is the descent into Hell of a young lover. However it might also be appropriate to think of it as a rock opera, and one of the tracks is even titled Recitativo. For those of you who may not know, recitative in opera is sung narration. On this occasion more than any other I wish I understood the Italian lyrics, as the highly dramatic nature of this music has severely piqued my interest. Fortunately, PA Reviewer Andrea's review of the album incorporates a detailed synopsis of the plot.

The album opens and closes with some acoustic pieces that have a quasi-chamber music quality. Sandwiched between these is the meat of the album, a mixture of mostly heavy songs and instrumentals. In addition to the classical influence alluded to above, there are also elements of jazz and folk music on Discesa. All the tracks flow into one another, which enhances the feeling of grand scale on the album.

An approaching wind effect heralds Preludio: Il Trapasso, which features a beautiful yet doleful melody. Piano, flute and violin are joined by Simone Cecchini's grieving vocals. Confessione D'un Amante continues in a similar vein and employs the same texture as the opener. Piano arpeggios support the bittersweet violin melody, and on this song Cecchini's voice has a slightly harsher quality as he sings those gorgeous sounding words. Divine.

La Bestia E Il Delirio is the first instrumental track and features two main musical ideas. The first is a heavy, jazz-inflected theme with swirling organ, raucous electric guitar and staccato flute-play. The second theme is a sprightly bucolic dance featuring flute, pizzicato and bowed violin, and handclaps. It includes an accelerando that really gets the foot tapping, followed by some stops and starts before the first theme is reprised. The manic closing section features an organ and Moog joust that is only interrupted by a psychotic laugh. Thunder claps and a peeling bell introduce the ominous Recitativo: E Nel Buio Che Risplendono Le Stelle. A marching drumbeat accompanies the malevolent spoken word vocal, with evil laughs, whispers and gasps in the background. Creepy stuff. Some tormented screams introduce a heavy guitar and sax riff, with flute joining in toward the end.

Ricordi Del Supplizio continues in heavy mode with fuzzed organ and Eva Morelli's superb flute-play. Cecchini's singing is gruffer here and the torrid guitar and drums make this one heck of a rocker. There are a few moments of respite with the medieval-sounding intro of Nostalgia, Pentimento E Rabbia, featuring flute, acoustic guitar, vibes and sonorous drum rolls. The mood changes with a loose, swing-time rhythm and Simone Brozzetti's wah wah guitar. Cecchini's venomous vocals alternate with Morelli's flute in an anguished antiphon. A blistering guitar solo and a galloping rhythm on the bass and drums lead to a brief recapitulation of the swing riff.

Sudorazione A Freddo Sotto Il Chiaro Di Luna is the second instrumental track on the album. It also has a swing feel at its start with sax and organ to the fore. A heavy guitar and organ riff follows, before the track settles down with acoustic guitar, vibes and misty flute. Electric piano and jazzy guitar join in along with the rhythm section, producing a pleasantly laid-back groove. Some weird sounds lead to another heavy section where the organ mimics a storm, and the entire track is rounded off with a beautiful organ melody. The acoustic guitars and legato flute of Melencolia give it something of a Genesis air, although with distinct Italian vocals of course. Electric piano and whispered backing vocals further enhance the downcast mood of the song. Exquisite.

E Fu Allora... is a rather nondescript instrumental that mainly features jangling guitar and sax, although Brozzetti does impress with a sobbing fuzzed guitar solo. After its subdued intro, the tempo of Nosce Te Ipsum picks up with some lovely interplay between violin, organ, wah wah guitar and a hint of sax. Another stop-start section leads into some heavy riffing, then a heavily syncopated part.

Corale Per Messa Da Requiem witnesses a return to the chamber atmosphere from the beginning of the album. This is an elegiac choral piece that reflects the sorrowful mood of the subject. Epilogo then closes the album as it had started, the final notes being a beautiful ritardando that fades in the wind.

If you are a fan of RPI but don't have this in your collection I would urge you to buy a copy of this incredible album at the earliest opportunity. For those who only have a passing interest in Italian prog I would still recommend it highly.

Review by Flucktrot
4 stars Whether it's strictly prog or simply just great music, sometimes you hear something the very first time and know immediately that you'll want to hear it again many, many times, and that you'll be able to appreciate it probably for the rest of your life. These are not acquired tastes or "growers"--though of course you're appreciation can increase over time!--but instead great pieces that you can sit back and enjoy on many levels from the first spin.

This is one of those albums.

The key factor here is how great the production is: you can hear the subtle vibrato of each string and guitar note, and the vocal harmonies ring so clear that in terms of production it seems that Discesa can hardly be considered the same genre as its predecessors. Musically and compositionally, on the other hand, Il Bacio are clearly on par with the best that Italian prog has to offer. What the band may lack in pure creativity is more than made up for by a wonderful, often achingly beautiful, sound.

What sets this band apart most are the non-rock parts, which prominently open and close the album, in which the band channels the best of Italian music (and not just prog). Light percussion, some violin and flute countermelodies, some nice piano to keep the tempo brisk, and sparse but effective vocals: it doesn't seem that complicated, but I've rarely heard it sound more beautiful than it does here. Other highlights for me include the pensive (and again beautiful, particularly with the haunting 12 string) Meloncholia, and the playful Nosce te Ipsum.

Maybe in 10 years I'll see this as a masterpiece, but for now I view it as a very solid excellent addition to any music collection. Things are just a bit too inconsistent toward the middle, and quality of the rockier sections just a bit too inconsistent, for me to call it a masterpiece, but it sure it close. I very much look forward to investing in future work by the band.

Review by memowakeman
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Review originally posted at The

Progressive rock from Italy is alive and as good as ever!

One of my favorite (if not my favorite) countries regarding progressive rock has to be Italy, I love their style, their language, their theatrical music, that unique sound they produce, well, a lot of things, and I really love how their scene is alive and kicking asses with old and new bands, creating a fantastic combo. One of the bands that lately has come to the air, and caught lot of attention is Il Bacio della Medusa, and especially this album entitled "Discesa agl'inferi d'un giovane amante".

Released on 2008, the album has been praised by the prog rock fans, and when you listen to it, you understand why. It is so refreshing that newer bands offer such great, complex, challenging albums utilizing elements of the old RPI school with the addition of newer sounds, an extraordinary combination. This album consists on twelve tracks which together make 55 minutes of excellent music.

It kicks off with "Preludio: Il Trapasso" a track that starts slowly with some wind noises which then lead to the entrance of piano, flute, voice, violin and other instruments. The sound is pretty charm and gentle, beautiful since the beginning. Next to it is "Confessione d'un amante" which continues with that gentle sound of piano and strings. When the vocals enter the music makes a slight change, so one can be aware that this is a different track. The voice is also beautiful, and accompanied by those instruments, believe me, a wonderful atmosphere is created. There is some nostalgia in this track and moments where you can lie down in your bed and let the music do the rest.

But surprise, you are still in that gentle mood when all of a sudden the music changes, so you are now in the third track entitled "La bestia e il delirio", a rockier piece with great keyboard work on it, a constant and excellent drumming and then some nice guitar solos. I imagine some kind of pursuit while listening to this song (to the rockier part of it), because after a couple of minutes it changes again, creating a pastoral mood with flute and some slaps that start slow but gradually turns faster. This is a fascinating and adventurous instrumental track.

"Recitativo" is a nice piece. If I follow the story I create on my mind, in this track seems that things have calm down a little bit, and the main character of the story is walking carefully and seeing what is around him. The music keeps that tension while a voice is narrating something (shame on me I can't fully understand Italian). This track leads to "Ricordi del Supplizio" that truly reminds me to some 70s bands that surely inspired this group. The guitars are rockier again, the keyboard sound stronger and the vocals raw but great, there is also a cool flute adding its grain of sand all over the track.

After that heavier track, once again that pastoral and charming sound returns at the beginning of "Nostalgia, pentimento e rabbia". This very interesting song gradually progresses; while the seconds pass you will identify new musical elements on it. The flute is pretty important again, it is easy to recognize what it is playing and difficult to take it off your head. At the final part, that repetitive rhythm is also made by guitars, not only by the flute, which is great.

Now attention, because when you listen to a saxophone then you'll realize it is a new track called "Sudorazione a freddo sotto il chiaro di luna". It is full of cadence first and then a sensation of leadership and power appears for a minute, before it calms down. A new passage appears with acoustic guitar and soft dreamy music. However, the song changes again and again, which is pretty interesting due to the richness of sounds, colors and textures it shares.

"Melencolia" as the name suggests, it has to be a calm song with a gentle sound. The song is beautiful, though I have to recognize it is not one of my favorite pieces. However, you can feel relaxed and thoughtful while listening to it. That flute sound at the end is simply hypnotic. When that flute stops, you are now on "E fu allora". The sax returns here and creates that charismatic (even sensual) sound. Later it is alternate with guitar solos, and together take the leadership of the song.

So, that was an instrumental track, when vocals appear it is a new one, entitled "Nosce te ipsum". This track has hypnotic keyboard sound, while a disarming violin is playing. It also has great time and tempo changes that help building different structures gathered into only one, I hope you understand what I mean. This track brings again to my memory to some older bands, if you don't know you are listening to Il Bacio, then you might believe a 70s band is playing.

"Corale per messa da requiem" sounds actually as a requiem, as the name suggests. The violin is very delicate and creates a beautiful atmosphere accompanied by the piano and some choral voices. What an extraordinary piece, the end is near, I can feel it, and that, along with the music moves me a lot, that it even brought me to tears. Now we are in the final track, "Epilogo della discesa agl'inferi d'un giovane amante", a short instrumental piece that follows the same path as the previous track. A beautiful end for this beautiful album!

This album is highly recommendable for any progressive rock fan, and especially for those who love the scene from Italy. My grade, five stars!

Enjoy it!

Review by Warthur
5 stars An incredibly impressive second album from Il Bacio Della Medusa which sounds like a lost gem from the 1970s - except the way it mashes up different styles from then in a way they weren't ever quite mashed up before also makes it feel reasonably new. At points steeped in the prog tradition of Jethro Tull, PFM and Banco, at other points rocking the hell out with some pure hard rock riffs, at other points getting scary and martial, the album's songs blend together into a compelling suite which keeps me gripped from beginning to end. Definitely one to watch, this band - I'll certainly be looking to hear their other material.
Review by Eetu Pellonpaa
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars The second album of this wonderful Italian progressive rock group holds yet stronger theme album architecture, and develops the elements from their debut album to more sophisticated directions. A fusion of European classical music, psychedelic heavy rock music of 60's/70's, traditional acoustic folk music and passionate singing in Italian tradition unite as outstanding recording. When comparing to their first album, most notably this album is directed for meditative listening session from its beginning to end in one stance, as like the previous record allowed some highlight cuts as separate listening based on the moods of the listener. Orientation towards the philosophies of classical music and arts have certainly been more emphasized here than earlier. The operatic mellow moments reach unbelievable celestial heights, and more sinister rock spheres are inhibited by analogue synths and authentic vintage bluesy rhythm rollers. The symphonic rock details are arranged with exceptional taste and proving the academic quality in musicianship. The music flowing without much song transition gaps forced me to sit through the album for several nights of listening, and though I have not listened much to symphonic music currently, the kiss of this medusa is certainly very addictive. From the sequences of this symphony, "Ricordi del supplizio" shimmering with hazy hippie guitar grooves and alluring flute lines is maybe my own favorite among the whole set. Really warmly recommended for anybody interested of thoughtful and catchy rock operas.
Review by b_olariu
3 stars Il Bacio della Medusa is one of the most popular italian bands from prog rock realm with 3 albums released so far. Discesa agl'inferi d'un giovane amante is their second offer from 2008. This album got a lot of big aplauses world wide, is considered one of the masterpieces of our days, but really to me was an only fair good album, nothing more, nothing less. When I first listen to this release I said what the heck, this sound like it was released in 1973 or around that period not in 2008. Vintage symphonic prog is all about here, ok is well played , typical for italian school with romantic passages with a folkish atmosphere combined with more edgy ones, but all sounds very familiar to my ears. No ground breaking arrangements, only ok . So, no particular pieces is in front, all has same value, all are good but far from masterpiece status as many saw in this release, I know many italian symphonic prog bands that are far more intresting. 3 stars.
Review by VianaProghead
5 stars Review Nº 180

Il Bacio Della Medusa is an art-prog-rock group which was born in 2002. The band released three studio albums until now. The first, of the same name, was released in 2004, the second 'Discesa Agl'Inferi D'Un Giovane Amante', a conceptual album, was released in 2008 and the third 'Deus Lo Vult', another conceptual album was released in 2012.

The band embraces the 70's progressive rock style. The progressive facets of the band touch both the Anglo-Saxon side and the Mediterranean, a facet that characterizes the style that is now known today as Rock Progressivo Italiano. Refined texts, long winded titles and imaginative covers for a baroque style are typical of a certain type of progressive rock of bands like Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso, Premiata Forneria Marconi, Le Orme and Area which are some of the best representative Italian bands in the 70's. It seems the old tradition continue in our days with bands like Il Bacio Della Medusa, Universal Totem Orchestra, Finisterre, Hostsonaten, La Machera Di Cera and Ingranaggi Della Valle.

'Il Bacio Della Medusa' (The Kiss Of The Medusa), riding the wave of inspiration of the first album, immediately begins the work of what will be, so far, their most popular album, 'Descent Agli'Inferi D'Un Giovane Amante' (Descent To Hell Of A Young Lover) . It's a real rock opera, a mature, passionate and dramatic, conceptual album inspired by the V canto of the Inferno of 'The Divine Comedy' written by the great Dante Alighieri. In short, we can say that the concept of the album is about two lovers, Paolo and Francesca and and their thoughts when they follow their path of descent to Hell.

Musically, the sounds are more elegant than the previous one, thanks to the presence of the Rinchi violin and the Petrini keyboards. The work is masterful and full of intensity and density, and the arrangements of the band are excellent. Times and styles are perfectly and harmoniously alternated, between bloodless and dreamy ballads, classical accompaniments typical of symphonic prog and hard-folk incursions. The interactions between the instruments are numerous. The courtly and poetic texts host copious rhetorical figures and are written and interpreted with emphasis, also thanks to a broad ductility of the song that perfectly transmits the emotions experienced by the narrated subjects.

The tracks flow together without breaks, adding to the sense that it unfolds like a grand play. An often obscure music, conducted by the omnipresent organ and a guitar also hard, often embellished by a delicate flute and, to underline, the most touching moments of the story, a poignant violin and a guitar. Here and there we can hear some valuable folk insertions, which soften a little the subtle restlessness that hovers between the notes and the lyrics. The notes of the sad and romantic 'Preludio: Il Trapasso' lead us into the esoteric atmosphere that will accompany 'our souls' for the whole journey among the underworld. The 'Confessione D'Un Amante', sustained by the expansive melancholy of the instruments, is that of the suffering of Paolo. With 'La Bestia E Il Delirio' the rhythm is raised immediately thanks to a low flute unison, which we will often find throughout the album. In 'Recitativo: ' Nel Buio Che Risplendono Le Stelle' the flute, marching with the other instruments, opens to a marvelous and at the same time disturbing poem. A detachment and a change of rhythm introduce 'Ricordi Del Supplizio', one of the grittiest pieces of the album. 'Nostalgia, Pentimento E Rabbia' initially relaxes us, through sounds of medieval appeal, and then reinvigorates itself. Following is the instrumental 'Sudorazione A Freddo Sotto Il Chiaro Di Luna' where at a certain point the rhythms subsided, leaving room for more rarefied atmospheres. Then, let's go through the verses of Cecchini on the epic 'Melencolia', where we estimate the acoustic sounds of a guitar that we find partly in 'E Fu Allora Che Dalle Fiamme Mi Sorprese Una Calda Brezza Celeste', with the kaleidoscopic Cecchini at the tenor sax. We continue instrumentally in the following tracks, 'Nosce Te Ipsum - La Bestia Ringhia in Noi', in which violin and percussion alternate with keyboard rides. We want to end with sad, melancholic and solemn atmospheres, guided by the Rinchi violin that is enhanced in this final. Mere vocalizations without words accompany 'Corale Per Messa Da Requiem' and in 'Epilogo: Conclusione Della Discesa Agl'inferi D'un Giovane Amante' the main theme is taken back, soaked with sadness.

Conclusion: The second studio album of Il Bacio Della Medusa is a mature work, refined and enthralling at the same time. They made an album in which not only the sounds, they pass from the melancholic and dark atmospheres to the purest prog sound or symphonic with an astonishing ease, but also the same voice by Cecchini, they seem to come directly from the 70's. The strong bond with the past is not a question of pure imitation, but a respectful appeal, like the deferential relationship of a believer with his own God. This has to be up there with the best of the retro-Italian prog rock I've heard in the last years with 'Mathematical Mother' of Universal Totem Orchestra. With these albums we can see the prog rock is very alive and why Rock Progressivo Italiano is responsible for some of the best prog albums ever.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

Latest members reviews

3 stars This may not be Il Bacio della Medusa's latest release, but nevertheless it remains their best yet as far as I'm concerned. Granted, "Discesa Agl'Inferi D'Un Giovane Amante" isn't the RPI album I've been playing extensively lately (that privilege being awarded for now to Faveravola, Unreal Cit ... (read more)

Report this review (#1383139) | Posted by MELNIBONÉ | Sunday, March 15, 2015 | Review Permanlink

5 stars A man and a woman go to hell and they are reflecting about their deeds, the reasons of why they as a couple are there. This is what I understood from the album, I don't speak italian but a little bit got this idea, if it's not, pardon me, this what the titles of the track and the music made me ... (read more)

Report this review (#1034809) | Posted by Memo_anathemo | Saturday, September 14, 2013 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Wonderful RPI! This is one of the best symphonic prog rock albums that I have heard in years. The progression is on the right place, they know how to change the mood of their music, and how! Discesa Agl'inferi D'un Giovane Amante is the second album from Il Bacio Della Medusa, released in 2 ... (read more)

Report this review (#1005699) | Posted by VOTOMS | Friday, July 26, 2013 | Review Permanlink

4 stars 4-1/2 stars. I really look forward to this band's next release. I don't consider this album to be quite a masterpiece, but I think this band is capable of reaching even higher heights, and the highs here are pretty impressive. If there's a weakness, it's that the metal-ish moments on this album don' ... (read more)

Report this review (#346560) | Posted by jude111 | Tuesday, December 7, 2010 | Review Permanlink

5 stars A personal way in Dante's 'Paolo & Francesca' Love Drama of 'Divina Commedia'. And in truth a great 70's RPI album!!! And for this motive that 'Discesa Agl'inferi d'un giovane amante' (eng: 'Descent Into Hell Of A Young Lover') is a masterpiece of RPI. In fact this album remember me some mome ... (read more)

Report this review (#254894) | Posted by 1967/ 1976 | Tuesday, December 8, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I just finished listening to Il Bacio Della Medusa's "Discesa Agli Inferi Di Un Giovane Amante". Fresh prog, the ispirations (and luckily the keyboards too) are firmly 70's-like, but the result is modern, actual, even original... romantic (in the wider sense of the word). It has everything: ... (read more)

Report this review (#223854) | Posted by Luca Pacchiarini | Monday, June 29, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This album stuns me so much that I decided to devote my first review to it! The album is as fresh as Änglagård's Hybris and in many ways they can be compared. Both are written by a symphonic prog band with tight & skillful musicanship and very good compositional skills and sense of melody. Both ... (read more)

Report this review (#179604) | Posted by XPEHOPE3KA | Friday, August 15, 2008 | Review Permanlink

2 stars At first, I thought it like a good album. But in the end I was rather boring. It will be that in reality the sound is too obvious or perhaps the lyrics are too redundant for me. They put theyr music on the wire that divide the line between total masterpiece and grotesque work. ... (read more)

Report this review (#175986) | Posted by Stef | Thursday, July 3, 2008 | Review Permanlink

5 stars il Bacio Della Medusa's second album, very very nice. After I 've listened their first album which same title album, I was very pleased to hear a very good music. In this second album you have a little bit same feeling in some sense, but more sophisticated and tendered I guess. I only have listen ... (read more)

Report this review (#174033) | Posted by bspark | Monday, June 16, 2008 | Review Permanlink

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